My Story

“I have been and still am a seeker, but have ceased to question stars and books: I have begun to listen to the teaching my blood whispers to me.” – Hermann Hesse, Demian

 

As a child, born to parents who both chose a form of movement as a major focus in their life, I was given a wonderful gift to fully enjoy and savor being inside my strong, healthy and flexible body. I thank my parents for this joy – my mother, a modern ballet dancer, and my father, a champion diver and gymnast.

This is a photo of my father, below, preparing for a diving competition.

leopifatherThey taught me to honor my body  and to explore the ranges of movement it is capable of. As a teenager in Los Angeles, I was interested in various forms of dance, Flamenco, Russian ballet and gymnastics. I studied modern ballet at the school of Gene Marinaccio. This was a major influence in my life as a young woman and provided the foundation of my understanding of our body structure. One particular teacher taught me to actually visualize and feel the anatomy and structure of my body through very slow movement. Ortho-Bionomy has this quality to it – a very slow, concise and gentle dance coming from within.

The combination of Judo and Osteopathy which Arthur Lincoln Pauls brought together in his life as an osteopath fascinated me. The dialogue with the body through self awareness and exploration of movement resonated with my own experience as a dancer.

With Ortho-Bionomy, I experienced an absolutely new sense of what flexibility really could be. I noticed over and over again, the spaciousness but also the details of my “body-scape”.  Ortho-Bionomy has such a unique  and articulate language that speaks gently, quietly and patiently becoming a deep center of stillness. In that way, Ortho-Bionomy is magical to me.

Ortho-bionomy is an experience of exploration and conversation. I fell in love with Ortho-Bionomy because of the internal range of vocabulary and conversation of our physical, structural, energetic and emotional experiences that are contained within our wholeness as a Being in a body.

A conversation that may be hard to imagine until you are in it. I love the simplicity, logic and gracefulness, which bring us to our own self-awareness and awakening, at our own unique speed.

Leopi_Nicola_Painting-7Being a midwife and an Ortho-Bionomist, I see myself simply as sort of a guide that works with Life Force.

What I love most about birth, is that it is a time when we are present in a very pure and primal way. I am allowed to witness an utterly human moment of intimacy and to be a guardian for the parents and baby in the safe and comfortable space of home. There, I witness, over and over again, the powerful life force, intelligent, primal and graceful. I also witness the same intelligent life force of the unborn child knowing how to be born. It takes two to be born, not one.

Because of my respect and love for the body, this sensitive and thriving vessel to our soul, I am also a figure painter. I paint the experience of what I feel and observe as a midwife and Ortho-Bionomy practitioner and I believe our body really is the Temple to our Soul.

My paintings are a reflection of my love for the sacred body. As an ortho-bionomist, I am in awe of the vast and subtle dimensions of our anatomy and also the expressiveness of the body as it heals from within. As a practitioner of Ortho-Bionomy, I feel I am still doing the work of a midwife. Now, I hope to be a midwife to all people in all stages of life.

 

My Credentials

I am a California licensed Midwife

I am a registered Ortho-Bionomy practitioner 800 hours and continuing studies

Bachelor of Arts in studio arts with a concentration in Art Therapy

500 hours of training in Homeopathy

I have been a licensed midwife in the states of New Mexico and Louisiana, New Orleans and Texas. I have been licensed as a homebirth Midwife since 1984 and supervised well over 1500 births.

I am a painter (large scale, figurative, archetypal, symbolism and surrealism) this work is an expression and response mainly to the sacred act of Love and Life and Birth. My art work is large scale.

Experience

I have been a practicing Midwife since 1984. I have attended and supervised well over 1500 plus births as primary home birth midwife. I am a mother of two sons who were also born at home. My first born son, Gabriel was born at home in Pecos, New Mexico and my youngest son, Blas, was born at home in Amsterdam, Holland. Both of their births were attended by traditional Midwives. I have been a Homebirth midwife in Santa Fe New Mexico and surrounding towns since 1985 until 2003. I was also licensed midwife in New Orleans, Louisiana  2004. I became a licensed midwife in  California 2005 till now where I have made my sanctuary – home in Vallejo, where I live now.

Training

1984  Received training in 1-year intensive program at the Maternity Center, a midwifery-based Birth Center in El Paso, Texas, which consisted of 3 Midwifery birth centers along the border of El Paso and Juarez. Licensed in Texas as Midwife 1984.

1985 become licensed in the state of New Mexico as a midwife

1990 – 1993  Received 500 hours of Homeopathy training with Robin Murphy.
I specialize in homeopathy and acute remedies for pregnancy and children.

1992 – 1997  BA in Art Therapy at the College of Santa Fe, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

2004 Licensed Midwife in Louisiana

2007 – 2010  New Mexico Academy of Healing Arts, I completed an 18 month program (500 hours) in Ortho-Bionomy, the Homeopathy of Body work and form of body-work rooted from Osteopathy. This work includes Cranial sacral and Somatic body healing. 80 hours of beginning modules in Somatic Trauma Healing with Peter Levine and the Foundation for Human Enrichment and Basic Somatic Trauma First Aid.

2009   became a Lactation educator and was certified as an international board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC). I have however, released the certification and title.

2012  Completed 130+ hours of advanced Ortho-Bionomy practioner training and moving towards my advanced certification.

2013  I continue in advanced self study and research of the unique and powerful integration of Ortho-bionomy and midwifery.

2019 I continue to midwife my families as their guide and teacher through the powerful  journey of pregnancy, birth and the evolution of becoming parents.